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Long live Southbank, London

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There's a place in London where skateboarding, BMX, Art, filmmaking and photography meet. It's called Southbank. It's a street-like skatepark right next to Themsen. Before the skaters took over, there was basically nothing happening here. Now it has the trademark as the birthplace of British skateboarding. It all began in 1973. The Barcelona version of this article would be Macba.

A few years ago the Southbank was under threat. Apparently, central planning in London had in mind to take down the skatepark and build retail stores here instead. Of course, this pissed of a lot of people in London and also around the world. They see Southbank as special. Even people who pass by Southbank stops to watch the skate show. Skateboarders are street artists who don't ask for money.

This space was actually much bigger before. They put up walls to hide big parts of the space. In 2004, central planning closed a big part of the space. They are doing a fundraiser now to unlock the bigger part of Southbank. If the fundraiser goes well, they will unlock it until 2018. There is even more to unlock. In the long-term future, they want to have the whole Southbank opened!

You can find retail stores wherever you go, but not a place like Southbank.

After skateboarders found out their place could be taken down, they started a campaign to prevent the central planning to engage.

In January 2014, Long Live Southbank gathered and gave to Lambeth Town Hall over 30,000 unique disapprovals to the ‘Festival Wing’ programs, causing the Southbank Centre’s planning applications to be the most despised in UK history.

In September 2014, Long Live Southbank signed a deal to let the skatepark remain as it is for a long time into the future.

It took them 17 months to save Southbank. It was saved in September 2014. This place has a lot of history behind it. 5 decades of skateboarding has happened here.

You can actually help unlocking the full Southbank by giving a donation.

Southbank, London
Southbank, London
337-338 Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XZ, Storbritannia

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The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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